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ISLAMIC ARCHITECTURE

INTRODUCTION
-Compiled by
Mohamed Rafiq.S
ISLAM: SUBMISSION TO GOD
MONOTHEISM: ALLAH IS THE ONE AND ONLY
GOD
Muhammad B. 570 - Prophet
Quran: Holy Book.
Spread by the sword.
2
nd
most popular religion in the
world today.
Unity of political and Religious
power- theocracy.
Peripheral to Byzantine + Persian
Empires.
Dominated the Mediterranean and
the Middle east by the 7
th
Century.
SPREAD OF ISLAM
THE BEGINING
People of the Book
Adam, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus prophetic
predecessors of Mohammad
Mohammad
Not divine
Gods messenger
No miracles
Muslims worship God directly
2 BRANCHES
SHIITE AND SUNNI MUSLIM
Shiite-
direct descendants of Muhammad are
qualified for leadership.
Sunni-Legitimacy of 1
st
caliphs,
Not descendants.
Elective or dynastic Islamic leadership.
THE RELIGIOUS DEMANDS OF ISLAM
INFLUENCED THE DEVELOPMENT OF ISLAMIC
ARCHITECTURE
5 Obligations
Submission to Allah-SHAHADHA.
Pray 5 times daily facing Mecca.
Give alms to the poor Zakath.
Fast during the month of Ramadan.
Make a Pilgrimage to Mecca-Hajj.
DEVELOPMENT OF ISLAMIC ART-
INFLUENCE OF STYLES
The first followers of the Holy prophet ARABS, had
no artistic or traditional styles
As Islam spread, its art forms developed and were
modified by different climatic conditions and
materials that were available in the lands
Islam spread, adapting indigenous art styles.
EVOLUTION OF ISLAMIC
ARCHITECTURE
BUILDING
TYPOLOGIES
INFLUENCE OF STYLES
ROMAN
EARLY CHRISTIAN
BYZANTINE STYLES
PRE-ISLAMIC PERSIA
TURKS
MONGOLS
Development of Islamic Art began in the 7
th
century
ISLAMIC STRUCTURES
CAN BE DIVIDED INTO TWO MAIN TYPES
RELIGIOUS
STRUCTURES
The Masjid or Mosque.
The Madressah or
Religious school.
The Mausoleum or tomb.
SECULAR STRUCTURES
The Palace.
The Caravanserai or
roadside inn.
The Cities.
GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF ISLAMIC
BUILDINGS
It is a synthesis of:
Byzantium
Copte
Christian
Buildings are not high,
horizontality is
underlined.
The main building is the
mosque.
Materials are poor in
general: brick, tiles, wax
Shapes tend to be cubic
Hemispheric domes
High towers (minaret)
MINARET
DOME
GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF ISLAMIC
BUILDINGS
Supports:
Column and pillar
Slim and stylised
Covers: great
variety:
Flat covers
Vaults and domes:
Groin vaults
Pierced
Crafte
MOSQUE OR MASJID
A PLACE OF COMMUNITY GATHERING AND PRAYER.
THIS UNIQUE RELIGIOUS EDIFICE HAD THE TYPICAL
PROMINENT FEATURES
MIHRAB
A mihrab is a niche in
the wall which points
the worshipers toward
Mecca.
This identifies the
QIBLA, within the
Mosque
MIMBAR
MIMBAR
Raised wooden seat
or Pulpit , from
which sermons
(Khutba) was
given.
A place from which a
religious leader (an
"imam") speaks to
the people.
Damascus, Great Mosque,
qibla wall (pointing to Mecca)
with minbar
ABLUTIONS FOUNTAIN
Before prayers, the
faithful cleaned their
faces, hands, feet, and
rinsed their mouths.
Cleansing was an act
that was both symbolic
and literal to prepare
oneself to meet with
God in prayer
COURTYARD OR SAHN
Almost every mosque and traditionally all houses and buildings in
areas of the Arab World contain a courtyard known as a sahn (Arabic
), which are surrounded on all sides by rooms and sometimes an
arcade.
Sahns usually feature a centrally positioned pool known as a howz.
If a sahn is in a mosque, it is used for performing ablutions.
A simple Sahn, with a
howz in the middle.
ABLUTIONS POOL OR HOWZ
PRAYER HALL OR HARAM
This is a colonnaded large hall where the prayer was
usually held.
Any ritualistic activity took place here.
IWAN
An iwan is defined as a
vaulted hall or space, walled
on three sides, with one end
entirely open.
Iwans were a trademark of
the Sassanid architecture of
Persia, later finding their
way into Islamic architecture
This transition reached its
peak during the Seljuki era
when iwans became
established as a
fundamental design unit in
Islamic architecture.
Typically, iwans open on to a
central courtyard, and have
been used in both public and
residential architecture.
Typically, iwans open on to a
central courtyard, and have been
used in both public and residential
architecture.
MOSQUE COMPLEX
Sahn
Qibla
Mihrab
Maqsura
Minbar
Haram
Minaret
Madresahs:
oTheological colleges and schools of religion
oUsually attached directly to mosques
oTypical structure:
-Four vaulted halls surrounding a center courtyard
-The largest side hall is known as the qibla
oThe four halls are usually surrounded
-Apartments
-Schoolrooms
oExterior decoration usually only surrounds
openings and marks the roofline
oUnlike other public buildings where decoration
starts at the foundation and ends at the roof
Mausoleums:
oMemorials to holy men and rulers
oUsually centrally planed and domed
oThe most famous Islamic mausoleum is the Taj Mahal
THE FIRST OF THE THREE GREAT SHRINES
OF ISLAM
Ka'ba at Mecca
(al-Haram al-Makki al-Sharif).
Mosque of the Prophet Muhammad
Madina
Dome of the Rock (QUBBA-AL-SAKHRA)
Jerusalem.
KABA-MECCA,SAUDI ARABIA
The dimensions of the present
Ka'ba :
Northern wall :12.63 meters
Eastern wall : 11.22 meters
Western wall :13.10 meters
Northwest wall :11.03 meters
(it is not completely regular.)
The Ka'ba height is 13
meters.
The door on the northern side
is 2 meters from the ground
and is 1.7 meters wide.
PROPHETS MOSQUE
THE RECONSTRUCTED
MOSQUE AT MADINA
Al-Masjid al-Nabaw ,often called the Prophet's Mosque, is a
mosque built by the Islamic Prophet Muhammad situated in the city
of Medina. It is the second holiest site in Islam(the first being the
Masjid al-Haramin Mecca). It was the second mosque built in history
and is now one of the largest mosques in the world. After an
expansion during the reign of al-Walid I, it also now incoporates the
site of the final resting place of Muhammad and early Muslim leaders
Abu Bakr (r.a)and Umar (r.a).
The site was originally adjacent to Muhammad's house; he settled
there after his Hijra (emigration) to Medina in 622. He shared in the
heavy work of construction. The original mosque was an open-air
building. The basic plan of the building has been adopted in the
building of other mosques throughout the world.
The mosque also served as a community center, a court, and a
religious school. There was a raised platform for the people who
taught the Quran. Subsequent Islamic rulers greatly expanded and
decorated it.
Al-masjid-al-Nawabi:
FEATURES:
One of the most notable features of the
site is the Green Dome over the center of
the mosque, originally Aisha's
house,where the tomb of Muhammad is
located.
In 1279 AD, a wooden cupola was built
over the tomb which was later rebuilt
and renovated multiple times in late
15th century and once in 1817.
The dome was first painted green in
1837, and later became known as the
Green Dome.
The mosque is located in what was
traditionally the center of Medina, with
many hotels and old markets nearby. It
is a major pilgrimage site and many
people who perform the Hajj go on to
Medina before or after Hajj to visit the
mosque.
DOME OF THE ROCK, (QUBBA-AL-
SAKHRA),JERUSALEM
Completed in 691, the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem is the
earliest remaining Islamic monument.
The first major artistic endeavour of the Umayyads.
The reason for its erection are not given in literary or
epigraphic sources. It eventually became connected with the
miraculous Night Journey of the Prophet at the Masjid al-
Aqsa generally presumed to be in Jerusalem, although the
earliest evidence in our possession is not clear on this point
and with Muhammad's ascent into Heaven from the
Rock. This is today the conception of the Muslim believer.
The location of the mosque on Mount Moriah, traditionally
accepted as the site of the Jewish Temple and associated with
many other legends and historical events.
HISTORY
BUILT IN 687 AD AND
691 AD
ARCHITECT OF
BYZANTINE TRAINING
SUPERVISION OF
SYRIAN BUILDERS
DECORATION AND
MOSAIC BY
CONSTANTINOPLE
EXTERIOR VIEW FROM
NORTHEAST
THE DOME OF ROCK- DESCRIPTION
The building is admirably located on an artificial platform,
itself part of a huge area known today as the Haram al-
Sharif (the 'Noble Sacred Enclosure'), created in Herodian
times.
The platform is ascended by six flights of stairs, tow on the
southern and western sides, one each on the other two. An
arcade crowns each flight. Both stairs and arcades can
only be documented from the tenth century onward, and no
information exists about access to the platform in
Umayyad times.
Not quite in the centre of the platform, the mosque has a
large central dome (about 20 metres in diameter and about
25 metres high) consisting of two wooden shells originally
gilded on the outside and placed on a high drum pierced by
sixteen windows in its upper part. It rests on a circular
arcade of four piers and twelve columns; around the central
part two ambulatories are separated by an octagonal
arcade of eight piers and sixteen columns.
The marble columns, together with most of the
capitals, were taken from older buildings; the piers
are in heavy stone masonry; a continuous band of tie-
beams separates the capitals of the columns and the
shafts of the piers from the spandrels.
The sloping roof of the octagon abuts the drum of the
dome just below the windows. Outside, each side of
the octagon is divided into seven tall and narrow
panels separated by pilasters. Five contain windows
with double grilles dating from the sixteenth century;
the original ones probably had marble tracery on the
inside and ironwork on the outside.
There are four entrances preceded by porches, one on
each of the cardinal points. Above the roof of the
octagon runs a parapet.
PLAN
SECTION AA
ROCK
Domed Octagons
Double wooden shell
SECTIONAL VIEWS
INTERIOR VIEWS
INTERIOR
PORTICO
3 columns
supporting
4 arches on
either sides
Grilled
windows
Central ambulatory
&Rock
View along North Portico
showing marble paving
The Rock inside the Dome
Artificial
Cave within
rock Interior of the Dome of the Rock
where Abraham intended to sacrifice
Isaac and where, for a time,
Mohammad directed Muslims to face
when praying until Mecca became a
Muslim city.
Dome covered with alloy
containing gold
Exterior drum tile work
Lead sheets above ambulatory
GREAT MOSQUE AT DAMASCUS
UMAYYAD MOSQUE
Location within Old Damascus
The Umayyad Mosque, also known as the Great
Mosque of Damascus, located in the old city of
Damascus, is one of the largest and oldest mosques in the
world. It is considered the fourth-holiest place in Islam.
After the Arab conquest of Damascus in 634, the mosque
was built on the site of a Christian basilica dedicated to
John the Baptist (Yahya). The mosque holds a shrine which
today may still contain the head of John the Baptist,
honored as a prophet by both Christians and Muslims
alike, and is believed to be the place where Isa (Jesus) will
return at the End of Days.
The tomb of Saladin stands in a small garden adjoining the
north wall of the mosque
Courtyard and sanctuary
The ground plan of the Umayyad Mosque is rectangle in shape and
measures 97 meters (318 ft) by 156 meters (512 ft). A large courtyard
occupies the northern part of the mosque complex, while the haram
("sanctuary") covers the southern part.
The courtyard is enclosed by four exterior walls. The level of the
stone pavement had become uneven over time due to several repairs
throughout the mosque's history, but recent work on the courtyard
has restored it to its consistent Umayyad-era levels.
Arcades (riwaq) surround the courtyard supported by alternating
stone columns and piers. There is one pier in between every two
columns. Because the northern part of the courtyard had been
destroyed in an earthquake in 1759, the arcade is not consistent;
when the northern wall was rebuilt the columns that were supporting
it were not.
Three arcades make up the interior space of the sanctuary. They are
parallel to the direction of prayer which is towards Mecca in modern-
day Saudi Arabia.
The central transept divides the arcades into two halves each with
eleven arches.
The entire sanctuary measures 136 meters (446 ft) by 37 meters
(121 ft) and takes up the southern half of the mosque complex.
Four mihrabs line the sanctuary's rear wall, the main one being
the Great Mihrab which is located roughly at the center of the wall.
The Mihrab of the Companions of the Prophet (named after the
Sahaba) is situated in the eastern half.
According to ancient Muslim engineer Musa ibn Shakir, the latter
mihrab was built during the mosque's initial construction and it
became the third niche-formed mihrab in Islam's history
The arcades are supported by two rows of stone Corinthian
columns. Each of the arcades contain two levels. The first
level consists of large semi-circular arches, while the second
level is made up of double arches.
This pattern is the same repeated by the arcades of the
courtyard. The three interior arcades intersect in the center
of the sanctuary with a larger, higher arcade that is
perpendicular to the qibla ("direction of prayer") wall and
faces the mihrab (niche in the wall which indicates the qibla)
and the minbar ("pulpit").
Domes
The largest dome of the mosque is known as the "Dome of
the Eagle" (Qubbat an-Nisr) and located atop the center of
the prayer hall. The original wooden dome was replaced by
one built of stone following the 1893 fire.
It receives its name because it is thought to resemble an
eagle, with the dome itself being the eagle's head while the
eastern and western flanks of the prayer hall represent the
wings.
With a height of 36 meters (118 ft), the dome rests on an
octagonal substructure with two arched windows on each of
its sides. It is supported by the central interior arcade and
has openings along its parameter.
PLAN
SECTION ALONG ENTRANCE
SECTION ALONG DOME
The place where the head
of Husayn was kept on
display by Yazd.
The Dome of Treasury